Rising 360 | Our roots why you love what you do

Rising 360

October 27, 2021


Gina & Susanne connecting this week over events in their lives as artists. Creating space with the intention to shine a light on dark corners with the hope to support you. Come join us with no judgment. We are holding space to learn, laugh, and downright pointe at ourselves.

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Rise 360 with Gina & Susanne |Our roots why you love what you do

Our roots

‘When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind’. So what is the root? We know what the root is for a tree or for a plant; it is very important. The deeper it goes down, the more secure from the wind the plant or the tree is. And it can withstand more external turmoil. So what does the root look for us? Looking at the layers of confidence that get peeled off the older we get. We unlearn how to love ourselves by living in the world. When we’re babies, we see our reflection in the mirror and we just light up.  We come into this world completely filled with love and self-confidence. So in living life, as those layers get peeled away, it’s important to tap back into our true roots, which in our true essence is love.


Finding ourselves

Looking at how we’re unlearning in those formative years of not loving ourselves, we’re taking that with us regardless of where we are in our journey through life. Looking backward to our 16-year-old self, we’re so conscious of not doing anything wrong. Not to embarrass ourselves. Not to stand out, but yet we want to. And going through all of these phases of finding ourselves.  There is never an endpoint. We’re not arriving there in finding ourselves. We know what our core is. Perhaps, but we change as well.


Our why

We change from that tiny little diaper-wearing baby that loves itself so much regardless of where it’s at in its journey. And regardless of what it can or can’t do, it’s just pure love. And we are being fed all of this. That is the root that we’re talking about. We would love it if we could remember that root. Let us go back to our inner child. Even if we’re 16 years old and we’re lying in the studio, we should remember our why. Why are we doing things?  Why are we in the studio? Why are we doing all of this hard work? Why are we not sleeping? Why are we pushing ourselves through not wanting to eat or, or all of these sacrifices? Because yes, they’re our choices. But we’re also putting that on ourselves making it a little harder than it really has to be.


Pure love for ourselves and everybody

Easiness and flow are found when we go back to our roots and giving ourselves permission to unlearn all of the layers that make it so complicated. And just see it for what it is. Looking at dancing, there’s 7.8 billion dancers in this world. Everybody at some point loves to dance because it’s freedom. It’s magic. We close our eyes. We feel love. We feel connected. And why are we taking that away when we become professionals? Why does becoming a professional mean it has to hurt? It’s demanding. It’s triggering. It’s something that we will carry along- a heavy bag for the rest of our life. If we remember who we are and what we are, which is pure love for ourselves and everybody else outside of ourselves, it wouldn’t be so hard.


Searching for Our nourishment

Roots are also where plants get their nourishment from. And so when our root is deep and we’re getting our nourishment from that pure love source, that means we’re not looking elsewhere. We’re not looking to an external source to receive that. When we forget to nourish our roots, we start searching where we become people pleasers. We search elsewhere for what we’re looking for. For our nourishment. So that idea of the plant being healthy because of the deep roots indicates where their sense of nourishment is coming from. And it’s not an external source.


Strong root system

 The stronger, the healthier, and the most remembered are like a muscle. What if we train every day, it becomes stronger. A root also becomes stronger; the more attention it gets. Meaning the more attention we give ourselves and what matters to us the most. What is our core value? What is important to us? The better choices we can make and the stronger we will get.  We would go so far with less training in the studio because we have that strong root system that knows exactly where to go in. No matter what kind of storm is going. Or how much the wind is blowing. Or how hard the rain is or which dog was digging up one of our roots. It doesn’t matter because everything else is strong. And we can always go back there. Even if we lose a little bit of our footing, we still know where to go and get anchored again.  It is so important that we are able to have gained that awareness now because it will serve us. It will pay off a hundred times later on in our life.


Investment in our roots

It’s important to point out too that it’s not a one-time investment in our roots. It’s a pendulum. So some days we will be more in that healthy zone. Tapped into our roots. Getting nourishment from our inside source instead of seeking externally. But then other days it swings the other directions. So it’s not a one-time investment. It’s a continual thing. It’s something that we’ll always need tending to, care, attention, and focus. It’s not something that we fix. It’s something that we lovingly care for our whole lives.


Our Body

 Paying attention to it and seeing it equally as important. If not more so important than the work that we’re doing on a daily basis in the studio, is something that we need to talk about more and more. Because the emphasis in becoming a dancer, in the training is on our body. Everything that our body is capable of and we’re cutting it off here because we’re saying, ‘our body is lazy or our mind is lazy and we need to work against it’. This is our entire team. We all need to be on the same bus. We all need to work together. We all need to be in alignment in order to get the very best out of ourselves. As soon as we start to work against ourselves, our roots will come unrooted.


Things that uproot us as dancers

Let’s look at the things that can uproot us and because the opposite of that is growing deeper, but what are things that uproot dancers?


Core Wound/Trauma

Most of us have that core wound, a trauma. It’s, however, what we want to call it. But it’s something that occurred to us in our childhood that somewhere, at some point we felt abandoned or not loved or not enough. And it gets magnetized or magnified. When we’re in the ballet studio, because of the chase for perfection, our little subconscious mind gets told over again that what we are doing is not enough. And it’s outside of our capability to separate that. Particularly when we’re little because we’re taking everything for face value.


Seeking love and validation from the outside

It’s not that we’re not perfect but we’re thinking we are. And therefore we’re seeking love and validation from the outside. And that’s our root. And that will uproot us. Meaning that every comment that we get in the studio. For every peer or teacher, that doesn’t even need to be words, it can be a look or an eye raise or whatever it is. If we’re wired that way, if our brain is thinking, ‘We are not enough’.  It will look for everything out there that will show us. That will give our brain credibility and prove us. That is one of the most uprooting beliefs that we carry, not only as dancers but as human beings.


We’re not alone in this work to nourish our roots

It’s worth mentioning that we don’t have to do this rootwork on our own. Even if we don’t have access to a coach or a counselor, there’s got to be someone in our life that cares about us. That we can lean on for guidance, assistance, and help. We’re not alone in this work to nourish our roots. Think about the people in our life that we can really lean on. That understands us and can offer us a fresh perspective. And help bring us back to that love essence. Sometimes it’s not the people that are closest to us. Because they have a lot of preconceived notions on how and who we are sometimes. There are so many free resources out there. So many. Look at your Instagram feed for example, there is so much in there.  We put out so much content that is relatable. That will remind us of our worth and of the joy that job, this passion of ours can bring us. And we have bought into the belief that it needs to be hard and moved away from our roots. And there are so many other accounts out there that offer that.


And all we have to do is tune in, let it in and ask the questions. We understand that that’s hard. That is really hard because we need to make that decision. Nobody else is going to do that for us. Nobody else is going to come and tell us, ‘go do it.’ That’s truly on us. And this is a skill too that we already possess. Look at how we are getting ourselves up at six, or seven, or 8 o’clock and stretch. Put our point shoes on already. And then show up two hours later in class. We already have a grid. We are already determined. All we have to do is shift the needle a tiny bit and put that energy, that discipline that we have into different fields.


We are in charge of what’s in our internal dialogue

We’re looking at our Instagram feed.  And we’re seeing pictures of perfect dancers with their legs up to their ears. And it’s getting us deeper and deeper away from our roots that we’re trying to work on. But we have the choice to curate what shows up in our feed because we determine who we follow. So perhaps unfollowing a few of those dancers who only post the perfect pictures of themselves and choose to follow sources of inspiration that remind us. That helps us to nourish our roots. We are in charge of what’s in our Instagram feed. We are in charge of what’s in our internal dialogue.


Stop doubting ourselves

 We’ve been taught to give it all. To always be there regardless of how we’re feeling.  To let everything that could keep us away from becoming successful fall away. To not let it in.  To not let it affect us.  But how do we know what serves us and doesn’t serve us, if we don’t have really strong roots? When we know why we are here. Why we’re doing what we’re doing and what it offers to everybody else out there. And where we want to go later on.  Even if we’re 16 years old, that will come. We don’t have to have a plan.  We have to understand that whoever we are today is beautiful enough to take that next step.  We are so worthy.  We are so enough. Let us stop doubting ourselves. Stop doubting everybody else and just lean into that deep-rooted love that is really in us and find that connection too.

Okay, we’re sending you so much love. Thank you for being here. Thank you for always listening and till next time.

So much ❤ Susanne

  • Important Links to Gina McFadden:

  • About Gina


    I’m so glad you are here. With all that I have, my goal is to serve YOU – to inspire YOU to better health and wellness in an accessible, actionable way. My passion is to empower dancers like you in their pursuit of better health and peak performance. My work as a dance educator has focused around giving dancers the knowledge and tools to care for their bodies and minds.

    Dance has been a part of my life since I was nine. I trained at ballet studios as well as competition studios – my heart knows and loves both worlds! (Did you know you were reading the bio of Teen Miss Dance of Michigan 1994?!) I went on to dance professionally The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Ballet Pacifica, State Street Ballet and The National Choreographers Initiative.

    My students include ballet “bun heads,” competition dancers, concert and commercial dancers…I’ve even taught 3-year-olds (which, as it turns out, is a lot like herding kittens). Most recently, I have been on the faculties of Boston Ballet School, New Jersey School of Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet School and an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and Hope College.

    Want to sample some of my writing? I have a blog here and am a blog contributor at The Muse by Apolla. Want to take one of my virtual classes? I teach Apolla Insta Live Series twice a month!

    My degrees in business and legal studies tell the tale of a young lady who once thought she wanted to be a lawyer…but this beautiful art form kept calling me back…

    Wanting to learn more about anatomy and mind-body connection, I completed my RYT yoga teacher training in 2016. Oftentimes my students will end up in down dog in the middle of a ballet barre because…down dog. I am a Holistic Life, Career & Executive Coach and work with clients (dancers and non) around the globe.

    I am married to a handsome Marine (oorah!) and mamma of two lovely daughters, ages 9 and 12. My other joys in life include cooking from scratch, working out, spending time with my family, hosting big dinner parties and reading.

    Honored that you are here, Dancer! Please reach out to me via email if you would like to connect!


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  — Susanne shares a quick thought that came to her after hearing a quote. Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? She remembers how this feeling showed up in her life and how other people’s limiting thoughts would so easily be accepted as hers. Watch the episode here: Listen to the podcast here:   Who told you that you are not deserving of what you want? And I’m back. […]

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Past Episodes 

There is a better way to pursue ballet at the professional level. Instead of dancers pushing beyond their body’s limits, there is a healthier way to train your body, your mind and your spirit to soar. To become the best at your craft, you must be healthy. The mentality of surviving to make a performance perfect is an old paradigm that needs to change. As athletes, dancers must thrive in order to shine and connect with their audience. This new approach, leads to fulfillment, strength and longevity. It allows you to give more of your heart and soul on stage, creating an unforgettable experience that moves your audience. And that’s the whole pointe.